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Pregame Jaws

Since 1980, Florida is 19-5-3 in the second game of the season. Three of the losses came
to Miami in 1986, 2002 and 2003. The other two losses came to Tennessee in 1992 and
2004. The 2004 Tennessee game was originally scheduled as the third game, but that
year’s first scheduled game, against Middle Tennessee State, was postponed due to
Hurricane Francis. The three ties came in consecutive years from 1983-85, coming at
USC, against LSU, and against Rutgers.

Urban Meyer Fanfare
Urban Meyer is 5-1 in second games of the year. He defeated Buffalo 35-0 in 2001 and
Missouri 51-28 in 2002 while at Bowling Green. He lost to Texas A&M 28-26 in 2003
and defeated Arizona 23-6 in 2004. While at Florida, he defeated Louisiana Tech 41-3 in
2005 and UCF 42-0 in 2006.

Orange and Blue
The “Orange and Blue” you hear played by the Gator Band now is actually just the
chorus to a longer version of the song that has a verse. At some point I’ll probably post
the lyrics to that verse. If you take the chorus part (today’s “Orange and Blue”) literally,
it is simply a song dedicated to an orange and blue flag.

Men of Florida
Last week, Tim Tebow and Riley Cooper were real men of Florida, with Kestahn Moore
not too far behind. On defense, it was Derrick Harvey, Brandon Spikes, and Dustin Doe
being the real men of Florida. Harvey is so far above the rest of the defense it’s startling,
and Spikes and Doe could be the best linebacker tandem in some time.

Chimes/Alma Mater
In its 120 years of existence, Troy University has had six different names. It opened as
the Troy Normal School, but was the Troy State Normal School when chartered by the
Alabama legislature. In 1929, it was renamed Troy State Teachers College, which was
switched to Troy State College in 1957. It expanded in the 1960s and was thus renamed
Troy State University, and in 2004 it was shortened to Troy University. Troy has been a
Division I-A school since 2001, and in the time since has appeared in bowls in 2004 and
2006.

Boys March
The Gators offense marched up and down the field last week, finishing second in yards
per play with 9.44 and fifth in plays per touchdown, finding the endzone every 7.71
plays. Troy surrendered 507 yards and 46 points to Arkansas last week, and the Hogs
don’t even pretend to have a real passing game. Florida’s offense should be freely
flowing all over the field on Saturday.

Gators Spell Out
G: Generous
The defense last week didn’t give up many points, but it did miss some tackles and
assignments. They had better not be too generous this week against Troy’s pass-happy
attack.
A: Air it Out
For the first time in years, we got to see a Florida quarterback fling the ball deep
whenever he felt like it, and that felt good. Urban may have been trying to prove a point
about Tim Tebow’s ability to pass and knew that WKU was not going to pick those balls
off, but hopefully that’s here to stay. Speaking of…
T: Tim Tebow
He didn’t get challenged at all last week, and may not be challenged that much this week
either, but he’s got great touch on his longball and seems to be able to run the offense
efficiently.
O: Option
Florida ran the option to some mixed results last week, and that is still jarring to see. I
never thought I’d see UF run the option on a regular basis after the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, but
here we are. At some point, Tebow will need to take an option himself or else defenses
will just put a spy on the pitch man to negate the play. The coaches not wanting him to
get hit is a nice sentiment, but he will need to run the ball through areas with defenders to
maximize his potential. Maybe in conference play.
R: Returns
Brandon James is back from suspension, which should help tremendously on punt and
kickoff returns. Urban said he will get some carries too. Markihe Anderson will return
from an injured ankle
S: Suspension
While Florida gets Brandon James back for this week, one of Troy’s starting defensive
ends was suspended indefinitely. Kenny Mainor was Troy’s leading sack collector last
year with 6.5 sacks. As if Florida’s offense needed any help.

Suwannee
At times, the secondary looked like a disorganized mess, similar to a saturated river
overflowing its banks. It was even chaotic from time to time, and that won’t get it done in
the SEC. Some of it was young players getting their first chances to play defense in the
Swamp, so ideally some of that will go away now that it’s the second game. Troy will
provide a challenge but shouldn’t be in contention for the game. The real test is Erik
Ainge coming next week.

Tunnels
Troy likes to get up for games like this and make a statement, but Florida has too much
size, talent, and coaching to lose this one. It may stay close for a while, but it will be out
of hand by the end. Tim Tebow can’t possibly have as good of a game as he had last
week, but if he can stay consistent despite the temptation of looking ahead to UT, that’ll
be a great sign.